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Drone laws in Mexico

There’s few places as fun and interesting to fly your drone than Mexico. Sandy white beaches, picture-perfect blue sea, sunny skies, beautiful jungles and ancient ruins. Oh, and not to forget the hundreds of beautiful colonial towns and monuments that are testimony of the rich history of the country. Mexico is the dream of every drone pilot, yet it is not always easy to get up in the air as regulations tighten and flying drones becomes more difficult.

Flying drones in Mexico

Entering Mexico with a drone

In Mexico, drone pilots encounter two main difficulties, with the first one being surprisingly harder to deal with than the second one. I am talking about even getting the drone into the country. Mexican customs can be tricky, and they can spot a drone owner from a hundred feet. Legally, drones are not within the basket of personal articles a tourist can bring into the country duty-free (like a laptop computer, a camera, a CD player,… – you get it) so it is a welcome target for customs officials who would like to make a bit of extra money.

On my recent visit to the country, I was stopped by customs officials in Guadalajara airport that wanted to confiscate my drone if I don’t pay import taxes and customs fees. No bribing, they did it all officially with a receipt. And there was no escape – I paid about $150 and got an official receipt that would save me from paying again on my next visit. And I was lucky – the customs officer valued my DJI Phantom 4 at about 60% of its market value only. My advice: Bring a small drone like the Mavic Pro so you don’t even get spotted. And make sure you claim the drone is not new and has a low value.

Flying your drone in Mexico

The actual drone regulations in Mexico

But let’s now come to the drone laws themselves. Surprisingly, if you have managed to bring your drone into the country, little will stop you from actually flying it. The drone laws in Mexico are pretty lenient, and they basically only regulate drones above 2 kg take-off weight. If you stay under the 2 kgs, like with the Mavic Pro or a Phantom, you simply need to follow the usual rules of safety like flying only in daylight, staying away from people and government or other sensitive areas as well as remaining within line of sight. Flying close to airports and religious sites and ruins is of course also prohibited.

This way it is relatively easy to enjoy exploring this beautiful country from above. Like any Latin American country, rules are there to be broken – both by you and law enforcement officials. Which means that even if you’re technically ok to fly, a nasty officer could still see it differently, with little to no recourse. So be careful, stay away from trouble, and you will have an amazing time!

 Mexico is the dream of every […]

via Drone laws in Mexico — Phantom Cockpit

‘The Suffering Is Staggering.’ Victims Could Get $4.1 Million After Needless Cancer Treatments via TIME

(DETROIT) — An expert is recommending approval of $4.1 million in claims, including $2rodwin million in funeral costs, filed by victims of a Detroit-area doctor who committed fraud by putting hundreds of patients through needless cancer treatments.

Randi Roth gave an update Tuesday to a judge who is overseeing the case of Dr. Farid Fata. She said 81 percent of 741 claims are fully or partly eligible for restitution.

Fata is serving a 45-year prison sentence for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. He admitted putting patients through grueling chemotherapy — even when they didn’t have cancer.

Fata’s victims can seek reimbursement for funeral costs, remedial health care and mental health treatment. Out-of-pocket costs paid to the doctor and his clinics are also eligible for repayment.

Pain and suffering and lost wages, however, aren’t covered.

“The suffering is staggering,” said Roth, an attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota, who specializes in deciding claims in large-scale litigation. “All of us want to help as much as possible but the law is strict.”

Final approval in the months ahead rests with U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The restitution process includes a way for patients or their family to appeal if Roth determined a claim wasn’t eligible.

“This is a huge situation with tragic consequences. I’m going to be on top of it,” Borman said.

The judge said patients and families are first in line for restitution, followed by insurance companies and the federal government’s Medicare program.

Outside court, Teddy Howard, 57, of suburban Detroit said he’s frustrated. He said his claim has been rejected because his doctors won’t certify that some of his subsequent health care was related to the harm caused by repeated doses of chemotherapy ordered by Fata.

Howard said he had a liver transplant and has also lost eight teeth.

“I didn’t think I’d be crawling around, begging. This is crazy,” he said.

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(DETROIT) — An expert is recommending approval of $4.1 million in claims, including $2 million in funeral costs, filed by victims of a Detroit-area doctor who committed fraud by putting hundreds of patients through needless cancer treatments. Randi Roth gave an update Tuesday to a judge who is overseeing the case of Dr. Farid Fata.…

via ‘The Suffering Is Staggering.’ Victims Could Get $4.1 Million After Needless Cancer Treatments — TIME

Exxon Legal Issues with Establishing Environmental Accountability:

Watts Up With That?

This is in the news today via “Climate NEXUS”, which is a Madison Ave. PR firm:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he is launching a legal probe into Exxon’s climate denial. The inquiry will look into both consumer and investor protection laws, covering the oil giant’s activity dating back to the 1970s. Schneiderman’s investigation could open “a sweeping new legal front in the battle over climate change,” says the New York Times, which broke the story. Two separate reports by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times uncovered that Exxon has known about the dangers of climate change since the 1970s but sowed doubt by funding climate change skeptics to preserve its business. Exxon has been compared extensively to the tobacco industry, which was convicted of racketeering in 2000 for deliberately deceiving the public about the dangers of its products.

It seems all this is part of…

View original post 1,580 more words

32 of lawyers’ most common fears

Does your law practice make you fearful? You are not alone, according to John Lande, an emeritus professor of law at the University of Missouri. Some of lawyers’ most common fears include: Featured imageconflicto-de-intereses4-250x306

• Feeling that their offices or cases are out of control.

• Changing familiar procedures.

• Looking foolish by asking certain questions.

• Candidly expressing their thoughts and feelings.

• Giving clients “bad news.”

• Being intimidated by superiors in their firm.

• Asking for favors from their counterparts in a case or being asked for favors by their counterparts.

• Seeming “too nice.”

• Being blamed.

• Speaking in public.

• Lacking skill and confidence due to limited trial experience.

• Clients giving false testimony.

• Failing to locate “the smoking gun.”

• Harming their clients’ interests.

• Being attacked or outsmarted by counterparts.

• Being judged unfairly by potential or actual jurors.

• Being intimidated by judges.

• Suffering reprisals from judicial disqualification motions or reporting judicial misconduct.

• Suffering “the pain, humiliation and shame of defeat.”

NEGOTIATION NERVES

It’s not just litigation that can induce fear; negotiation does too. According to John Lande’s research, these are some of lawyers’ top fears about negotiation:

• Insecurity about their negotiation skills or preparation.

• Asking questions.

• Being questioned aggressively by their counterparts.

• Looking foolish.

• Silence.

• Appearing weak.

• Being dominated or exploited by their counterparts.

• Disclosing information that may harm their clients’ position.

• Making tactical errors.

• Incorrectly valuing cases.

• Failing to anticipate possible problems.

• Failing to reach an agreement.

• Not getting a good enough result for clients.

Related article:

ABA Journal: “How lawyers can turn fear into an ally”

via abajournal.com

Follow Up Etiquette RE: Biz Issues

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Managing Director, Litigation Consulting & General Counsel

Top 7 Things I’ve Observed as a Litigation Consultant:

I’ve passed another anniversary at A2L Consulting and in my time as a litigation consultant I’ve been both surprised and reassured about the state of the litigation business and its players (I also wrote about my surprises upon beginning my career as a litigation consultant). I’ve seen both the very best and quite bad litigators in action and have consulted for both. Although some litigators don’t live up to my high standards, I’m impressed by many litigators as both professionals and people. Here are seven of my observations over these years that I think might help you in your practice.

  1. Many Lawyers Confuse Chronology With Storytelling

It is almost universally accepted that storytelling is important to engaging an audience (including a jury) and that framing a client’s case as a compelling story is key to doing your best at trial, particularly in opening statements. But more often than not, when I ask a litigation team what their client’s story is, rather than explain “why we’re really here” as they would to a jury and illustrate some conflict and emotionally valuable moral that is critical to juror engagement, they rattle off some chronological series of events that led to a legal injury to their client or some misconstrued relationship by the opposing party. These are not stories and presenting a case framed this way, while possibly interesting to a legal scholar, is not compelling to a juror.

I’m surprised that so many smart litigators fall into the chronology trap and forsake emotional connection to engage jurors. I don’t advise pandering to a jury or excessive emoting by a litigator, but for a jury to care about you and your client and generate the stamina jurors need for a trial, litigators must tap into their emotional brains. This is not done by an information dump, a calendar, or using a lot of words.

A story answers the question posed above – why are we here today, in this courtroom? A story also has all the stuff you learned in grade school: a beginning, middle, climax, and end, characters, setting, theme, and moral.

  1. Some Lawyers Focus Too Much on Too Small Things

It’s easy for litigators (even more so for the associates doing the day-to-day stuff) to over-focus on every detail. The prospect of overlooking a potentially key piece of evidence or being surprised by an unknown fact exposed by opposing counsel is frightening for attorneys (it was for me), so we often wind up thinking way too much about every little thing in a case. This is called being “in the weeds,” and when you’re there it’s exceedingly difficult to escape without help. It happens with the selection of evidence, with witness prep, and even with the development of graphics, where sometimes counsel wants to very carefully think over every aspect, e.g., choosing what font style and color palette and slide aspect ratio will best work for their case.

On each of these things, I urge counsel to take a step back and delegate where possible so they can focus on the BIG PICTURE. The best first-chair litigators do this naturally, and the rest of us need to do it deliberately. Attorney time and brainpower should be spent on figuring out what it will take to win. Let litigation graphics consultants decide what font works best for your opening statement presentation. It will be a relief when you do.

  1. Many Litigators Don’t Know What Tools Are Available

Even though the litigation consulting industry has been around for decades, I still find a lot of lawyers really don’t know what we do (in total) and what persuasive tools are at their immediate disposal. Often, my first conversations with new clients include questions like, “What all do you do?” The concepts of litigation graphics, presentation and persuasion consulting, trial technology, and jury consulting are not concrete ideas in many litigators’ minds, and I often have to educate clients on what we have in our (their) toolbox.

Most often, such attorneys think of litigation graphics as discrete images created for specific points they want to make during trial. They don’t understand that, while that’s a part of our work, such graphics won’t alone provide the immersive visual experience necessary (particularly during opening statements) to persuade jurors.

Also, many litigators seriously consider doing their own graphics and/or in-court technology presentation. They have Microsoft PowerPoint and Word and can cut and paste and they’ve heard that iPad apps make evidence presentation easy. The former is never a good idea and, while the later might be true for some situations, e.g., a hearing or very small trial, it’s not going to work in any bigger trial that could have hundreds or thousands of exhibits. There is a lot to know about crafting persuasive trial visuals and there are professionals who do nothing but build trial databases, edit deposition videos, and run trial presentation software to create a seamless trial for you and your jurors. Litigators should understand this and use professionals (and let your paralegals focus on what they should be doing as well).

  1. Litigators Still Wait Too Long to Bring in a Litigation Consultant

Even though they know better, most of the time litigation teams wait until just weeks before trial to engage a litigation consultant / jury consultant / graphics team / trial tech. Even though they know waiting makes it a more difficult budget-sell to their client, leads to an uncomfortable rush to develop graphics, may make mock jury exercises impossible, and forecloses the possibility of building discovery around what they learn from a consultant, they wait. I urge early planning for trial (at the complaint/answer stage), which is the right time to develop that important two-track litigation strategy, and begin working on your case story and graphics as early as possible. Although we can certainly help you late in the game, we can do a lot more before halftime.

  1. A Lot of Litigation Graphics are Subpar

When I get the chance, I always go to my client’s opening statements and then to as much of the rest of their trials as possible. So I get to see the litigation graphics developed by/for opposing counsel. I’m consistently underwhelmed.  It’s impossible to say whether these poor visuals directly led to the oppositions’ losses at trial, but they didn’t help.

More often than not I see a lot of text-heavy graphics – a severe barrier to juror engagement and communication. I see a severe lack of style, clarity, and intentional design – this screams lack of preparation and deliberateness in presentation. There are key visual presentation concepts that, if understood and followed, lead to persuasive graphics, e.g., font type, color choice, simplicity, complexity, branding, style, and others. There is no shortage of information about these concepts out there, but it seems most folks are not paying attention. We are.

  1. Lawyers Don’t Spend Money Where It Can Help Them

Litigation consulting, jury research, trial graphics, and trial technology cost your client money – very true. But the ROI on these services far outweighs their expense in bigger cases. The cost of a typical larger litigation, such as an employment case, hovers just around $1M. A typical bigger patent case costs about twice that amount. However, the services and tools that could be used to hone your persuasive game at any stage of such litigations turn out to be a very, very small fraction of these costs.

Take a big-time patent and breach of contract case where our client won over $300 million in damages. The costs for A2L’s services were well below $200,000, about 5% or less of the litigation budget and about 0.005% or less of the damages award. I know that our services played an important role in the victory, even though the trial team was beyond outstanding.

But, we still see litigation counsel struggling to decide whether $30,000 or $50,000 is the right spend for a mock jury focus group (a $20K difference that could be the difference between scientific data results and seat of the pants analysis) or whether to spend $12,000 to have a professional trial tech hot seat operator at trial (they should), or whether they can make their own graphics for opening statements in house (they cannot). In my view, saving a penny to lose a dollar makes no sense.

  1. Practice is as Important as Everyone Thinks

Finally, it’s been shown time and time again that practicing oral argument makes sense. The more you practice, the better you’ll do. It takes time, but again, the ROI on this time investment is tremendous. When litigators do several full speed run-throughs for opening statements or oral arguments, I see them do a fantastic job at the real thing. They don’t need notes, they know their subject matter, they are and appear more comfortable, they seem more reasonable, and they use their graphics perfectly in a compelling way.  Not practicing so that you can feel and seem more spontaneous at opening is a recipe for a poor performance. Practice. And start early.

Other articles and resources about litigation consulting and trial preparation from A2L Consulting:

Know your Consumer Rights

Although most of us have most likely heard about the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), and may even know parts of it; most us don’t have the time or patience to read almost 100 pages of legislation. We tend to leave this up to our lawyers and the judiciary and, unfortunately, many businesses capitalise on this. Megan Whittingtonhas made a list of some consumer rights scenarios.

Cartoon: Calvin & Hobbes is (c) 2012 Bill Waterson - originally published by 1547 University Press Syndicate.

  1. You know those annoying advertisement SMSes that you’ve done your best to get rid of? According to section 11 of the Act, they’re not allowed to pester you if you’ve told them to stop; nor are they allowed to contact you on public holidays, Sundays or before 8am/after 8pm. If you’ve asked them to take you of their list or replied with ‘stop’ and you’re still receiving messages; you can make an official complaint with the Provincial Consumer Affairs Office.
  1. Perhaps as you’re shopping for a new fridge, you’re subjected to a particularly anxious-to-sell trainee who guarantees that it has all sorts of wonderful abilities. You cart your new fridge home and find that it’s below average. Luckily, the CPA says that if a product you buy doesn’t have the features that were promised; you’re entitled to a full refund. If the company refuses; they’re in violation of section 41 of the Act.
  1. As you’re reading the Sunday paper, a pamphlet with a fantastic special grabs your attention. Thespecial price is only valid on that day so you leave for the mall immediately. When you arrive at the shop, you’re told that the items on special had sold out within an hour after opening. Good news – section 23 of the Act lets you insist on being able to purchase the item at the special price, or at the very least, have one of their other stores organise the item for you.
  1. You found an old airtime voucher that you purchased over a year ago, but your network provider tells you it’s expired and you can’t use it. Section 63 of the CPA says that if you’ve purchased and not redeemed a prepaid or gift voucher within the last three years; you can insist on getting a new voucher (without paying anything more) or get your money back.
  1. You’ve booked and paid for a transport service. When you arrive, you’re told that the service in question is full due to over-booking and they can no longer accommodate you. This is a huge convenience, but the consolation is that you can insist that they refund you with interest and that they pay for another means of transport, even if it’s with a different company. If they refuse; a threat with making a complaint based on section 47 of the CPA should ruffle their feathers.
  1. If you buy a product that is faulty, use it correctly, and it causes damage to another one of your belongings; you have a claim. For example, you purchase a new cell phone charger, plug it in and connect it to your phone. It malfunctions and causes permanent damage to your phone. You can demand a full refund for the faulty charger and claim damages for the harm done to the phone. If they refuse, they will be in violation of section 55 of the Act.

These are just a few of the ways that the Consumer Protection Act can make a difference in the everyday lives of South African consumers. If you believe that your rights, as a consumer, have been breached then you can make a complaint to the National Consumer Commission here:  http://www.nccsa.org.za/complaint/complaint-form.html/.

For a user-friendly guide to the CPA click here: http://www.legal-aid.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/YOUR_RIGHTS-THE_CONSUMER_PROTECTION_ACT.pdf

Clickhere to access the full-length version of the CPA: http://www.thenct.org.za/NCTDocs/founding-legislation/f8d6f6aa-994d-4305-b3d0-ea056416bbd0.pdf.

Death toll from defective GM ignition switches rises to 107

Vote NO on SB 277 to stop Mandatory Vaccinations

SB 277 No More Public Education = DiscriminationPicture

Biotech corporations conduct human experimentation in Maui in violation of international law

Maui (NaturalNews) A rogue federal judge is intentionally stalling the implementation of a referendum passed last year by voters in Maui County, Hawaii, which when it finally comes into effect will bar chemical giants Monsanto and Dow from further polluting the island with experimental pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).Judge Susan Oki Mollway has taken it upon herself to interfere with the will of Maui voters by postponing a hearing that would have moved the referendum forward, her excuse being that two proposed legislative bills that were supposed to come up for consideration, but that have long since died without a hearing, might have made it possible to nullify the referendum (yeah, we can clearly see where your loyalties lie, Mollway).Except that these two bills won’t nullify anything because they’re both dead, which means that they have absolutely no chance of passing. Everyone involved with the process seems to recognize this fact except for Mollway, who is still clinging to a fantasy reality in which Monsanto and Dow are free to spread untested “Frankencrops” and random experimental crop chemicals as they please all over Maui.

Obstructing the democratic process of her state and aiding and abetting two domestic terrorist organizations, Monsanto and Dow, both of which are committing egregious crimes against humanity with their chemical experimentation, Mollway’s stalwart refusal to hold an appropriate hearing on the referendum amounts to nothing more than treason, and she should be immediately pulled from her post and jailed.

Maui residents oppose untested, illegal GM crops and crop chemicals

This is unlikely to happen, of course, but Maui voters and others can start applying much-needed pressure to get the process moving along. Despite what you may have heard in the mainstream media, the referendum in question does not even pertain to commercially approved GMOs and crop pesticides but rather to experimental, untestedGMOs and pesticides that are being planted and sprayed in the open air without approval.

The exact text of the referendum as passed by Maui voters reads as follows:

The Genetically Engineered (GE) Operations and Practices occurring in Maui County (also known as GMO) are different than GE food production farming and therefore pose different circumstances, risks, and concerns.

In Maui County, GE Operations and Practices include the cultivation of GE seed crops, experimental GE test crops, and extensive pesticide use including the testing of experimental Pesticides and their combinations in what is effectively an outdoor laboratory.

Experimental GMO, pesticide operations must be forcibly destroyed

As you can clearly see, Maui residents are rightfully concerned about the human experimentation programs taking place on their island by Monsanto and Dow without proper testing or approval. Open-air plantings of untested GM crops and sprayings of experimental crop chemicals is an irreversible ecological and human health threat that, if our own government won’t even protect us against it, must be dealt with by the people themselves.

One example of this was when activists in Hungary destroyed nearly 1,000 acres of GM maize fields owned by Monsanto back in 2011. Reports indicate that the transgenic crops were plowed under the ground before they had a chance to spread their poisonous pollen. And several years later in Oregon, activists set 40 tons of GM sugar beets ablaze in a major show of force against the government’s unconstitutional collusion with private industry.

“Allowing mass experimentation on humans, with new GMOs and new pesticides, without INFORMED consent…that is the crime. That is an obvious and undeniable crime,” wrote Jon Rappoport, investigative journalist extraordinaire, on his blog. via: 

Sources for this article include:

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com

http://planetsave.com

http://www.systemiccapital.com

Learn more:

Limited License Legal Technicians

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In 2012, the Supreme Court of Washington state enacted a rule allowing non-lawyers to practice law in a limited capacity after specialized training.  According to a March 13, 2015 Washington Post article titled Who says you need a law degree to practice law?,twenty-nine of Washington’s colleges offer the requisite courses in civil procedure, legal research, contracts and family law.  Once the training is completed and they pass a licensing exam, the graduates apprentice with an attorney for 3,000 hours before they can practice on their own.

waCourtsLogo‘They’re highly trained in a specific field of law,’ says Steve Crossland, who chairs the LLLT [Limited License Legal Technician] board. ‘In some ways, it’s more intensive training than what a lawyer gets.’

Washington’s program provides legal services to poor and middle class people who cannot afford traditional legal services, people who would otherwise have to represent themselves – sometimes with dire consequences.

‘The consequences can be failure to understand or enforce an order that can prevent ongoing violence or protect the safety of kids. It can mean losing the right to continue to live in one’s home.’

*     *     *

‘We have people come in who relied on a friend who thought he knew how to fill out paperwork, . . . Then they’d go to court and get creamed. They’ll come to us, and we’ll look at their paperwork and it’s a disaster.’

Given the reduction in funds for legal aid, Washington’s LLLT program is filling a void for the legal services industry.  And, California, Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico are reportedly considering similar programs.

‘We need to take a leaf from the medical profession, which has long recognized that people with health problems can be helped by a range of assistance providers with far less training than licensed physicians,’ New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said in his 2014 state of the judiciary report. ‘We all accept that. Why not the same in the law?’

Why not indeed.

About The Legal Reformer

Center for Legal Practice Reform

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thelegalreformer

In 2012, the Supreme Court of Washington state enacted a rule allowing non-lawyers to practice law in a limited capacity after specialized training.  According to a March 13, 2015 Washington Post article titled Who says you need a law degree to practice law?, twenty-nine of Washington’s colleges offer the requisite courses in civil procedure, legal research, contracts and family law.  Once the training is completed and they pass a licensing exam, the graduates apprentice with an attorney for 3,000 hours before they can practice on their own.

waCourtsLogo‘They’re highly trained in a specific field of law,’ says Steve Crossland, who chairs the LLLT [Limited License Legal Technician] board. ‘In some ways, it’s more intensive training than what a lawyer gets.’

Washington’s program provides legal services to poor and middle class people who cannot afford traditional legal services, people who would otherwise have to represent themselves – sometimes with dire consequences.

View original post 184 more words